don't fully appreciate. one of my main goals in writing elizabeth the queen was to part the curtain and tell what she was really like, taking the reader as close as possible to elizabeth, the human being, the wife and mother and friend, as well as the highly respected leader. i also wanted to do what none of her other biographers, all of them english, had done. just to explain her strong connection to the united states. not only has she been to this country five times -- 11 times, excuse me, five of them on private holidays, the most vacation time she has been anywhere outside her private estate, some of her and her closest friends are americans, which may be one of the biggest surprises.